These days, Airbnb stays and luxury villa or home rentals are increasingly popular alternatives to luxury hotel vacations. And now it's easier to book private accommodations than a hotel room (really!). But will a private villa or home rental be a better choice for you than a traditional hotel stay? Keep reading, and we'll help you decide.
Why Luxury Villas May Provide a Better Fit
In some places, villas are the way to go. In many resort destinations, home rentals have been established for decades. Here, villa renters are respected and treated like honorary residents, not like by-the-night hotel guests. Some home rental strongholds: ski resorts everywhere, Spain's beaches and islands, the Greek isles, Provence, Tuscany, Buenos Aires, Mexico's Los Cabos and Punta Mita. In the U.S.—Hawaii, Cape Cod, Maine, the Hamptons, Palm Springs, and Florida's Gulf coast.
Villas offer more privacy. Typically, rental villas are private homes where your neighbors are not on the other side of the wall, as in a hotel. Your villa's pool, beachfront, dock, etc. are not shared. And your parking spot is right there.
Villas are quieter. Villas are usually in low-key residential parts of town away from main streets, with no hotel or street noise. And no girls' getaway in stilettoes going on upstairs.
Villas offer a distinctive design. Luxury villas are often impressive, one-of-a-kind properties such as châteaux, penthouses, ski chalets, or modern beach houses.
Villas are ready to be lived in. Luxury villas are usually comfortable homes equipped with kitchen, deck, pool, hot tub, laundry room, and other amenities.
Villas give you more space. Luxury villas are generally bigger than all but the largest hotel suites.
Villas are more suitable for groups. With multiple bedrooms and bathrooms, plus kitchens and lounge areas, villas can provide a better "friends and family" experience than a block of individual hotel rooms.
Villas can be a better value. Luxury villa rates compare well with hotel vacations, especially for stays of a week or more. And having a kitchen (and sometimes a chef on call) moderates restaurant expenses.
Villas are pet-friendlier. As private homes, villas tend to be more welcoming to furry visitors than all but the most pet-friendly hotels.
Why Hotels May Provide a Better Fit
Villas can be isolated. The flip side of villas' added quiet and privacy is that you're not near the action. If you like to stay close to attractions and nightlife and zip around in Ubers without worrying about parking, a villa rental is likely to fall short.
No restaurant, bar, spa, or casino at your villa. In a hotel, your dining and entertainment are an elevator ride away. Not so in a villa.
No 24-hour room service. If you cherish late-night restaurant snacks and ordering burgers and rum-and-Cokes from room service at 2 A.M., you'll have to raid your villa kitchen.
Villas are more D.I.Y. Hotels offer every kind of assistance on call. At a luxury villa, you're more on your own, with only part-time maid service and (sometimes) a cook or butler (some villas do come with local concierge service and/or property manager).
Villas may have limited handicap access. Since villas are private lodgings, they don't have to meet public standards of accessibility.
Less information. When you research a hotel, you have many media resources, reviews, and images to inform you (many right here on TripSavvy). But if you're renting a private villa one-on-one, you have less info to go on.
Learn More About Luxury Villa, Home, and Apartment Rentals
Learn how to find the right villa and get help from a trusted professional like a Virtuoso travel agent. Also, check out HomeAway (which refers to itself as "the Ministry of Detourism") and some amazing villas from Luxury Rentals from HomeAway and Rental Escapes.